Tips on Composing

By Mike Furry, Guitar & Bass Guitar Instructor at The Lesson Studio

Mike Furry, Guitar & Bass Guitar Instructor at The Lesson Studio

Mike Furry

Musical composition is a challenging and rewarding practice. Learning how to compose music that is engaging and interesting can be very difficult for some people to learn. Composing music doesn’t have to be like doing a math problem. Here are some helpful steps that I’ve found to assist me when composing.

1.         You Can’t Be Wrong.

Remember this while writing music. It will make you feel better and help you avoid writer’s block. Writing music is one of those things you can do and never make a mistake because it’s your song.

2.         Define Goals.

Is this composition for you, or for someone else? This will change the tone entirely. What’s the attitude? What’s the point? Having a message or theme can keep the creativity flowing. Who/what inspired the composition? Where did it originate? It’s important to convey this in the music.

3.         Change Is Good.

It’s easy to find a great arrangement and want to showcase it time and time again but change can help you grow as a composer. Try picking up an unfamiliar instrument. It may lead you to a different finish line.

4.         Learn From Others.

There is something to be learned from every single musician or band out there. Listen to how your favorite musicians construct their songs—examine the style, the tone, how different instruments work together and so on and so forth. You can implement many of the same ideas into your own music.

5.         Practice.

There is no substitute for hard work and practice. It is the only formula that will guarantee you will become a better songwriter.

6.         Have Fun!

Write music because you love music. The idea is to enjoy it. If you get frustrated, then put it down and walk away. You’ll find that after a few minutes you’re ready to start back up.

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